John Keells Holdings – EBITDA grows 43% in Q4 recording Rs. 7.17 bn

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John Keells Group records strong recurring EBITDA of Rs.7.17 billion in Q4 despite underperformance of Leisure and Property; Q4 recurring EBITDA growth of 43%, excluding Leisure

The John Keells Group witnessed a faster than anticipated recovery momentum with the performance of most businesses reaching pre COVID-19 levels with business activity and consumer trends being near normal by the end of the financial year. Excluding Leisure, Group revenue increased by 17% to Rs.36.15 billion in Q4; up 1% to Rs.122.32 billion in 2020/21.

Excluding Leisure, John Keells Group recurring EBITDA increased by 43% to Rs.7.10 billion in Q4; up 8% to Rs.19.16 billion in 2020/21. The pace of recovery in Q4 is demonstrated by the recurring EBITDA of Rs.7.21 billion in the quarter against the full year recurring EBITDA of Rs.15.57 billion.

Given the positive momentum of the performance of the businesses, notwithstanding the impacts of the current outbreak, a final dividend for 2020/21 of Rs.0.50 per share, was declared to be paid in June 2021. Total dividend declared for 2020/21 amounts to Rs.2 per share and a total payout of Rs.1.98 billion. The declaration of this dividend reflects the cash generation capability of the Group’s diverse portfolio of businesses, despite the continued impacts on the Leisure business on the overall performance of the Group.

A consortium consisting of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) and John keells , in the capacity as the local partner, received a letter of intent (LOI) to develop and operate the West Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo as a public private partnership (PPP) project.

The Supermarket business witnessed a sharp quarter-on-quarter recovery momentum in sales, with the fourth quarter same store sales recovering to pre COVID-19 levels. The Consumer Foods industry group recorded a strong recovery during the year, particularly the performance of the Frozen Confectionery business. The Frozen Confectionery business recorded its highest monthly sales volume in the history of its operations in March 2021.

Whilst the opening of the airports is expected to help revive the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the performance of the Leisure business will largely depend on the pace of revival of regional and global travel, when travellers regain confidence, particularly with the vaccination drives in many countries. The performance of the Maldivian Resorts segment and the momentum of forward bookings have been very encouraging.

With the completion of the residential and office towers at ‘Cinnamon Life’, the hand-over process of the units will commence, on a staggered basis, from the first quarter of 2021/22 onwards, resulting in the recognition of revenue and profits from ‘Cinnamon Life’. Project completion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022/23.

The Insurance business recorded double digit growth in gross written premiums during the year driven by an encouraging increase in regular new business premiums. The Banking business recorded an increase in profitability driven by focused recovery efforts, cost management initiatives and higher investment income.

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